Kylie Whiteside

46th Annual Quesnel Rodeo

Quesnel Rodeo

Micaiah Gordon, Elijah Gordon and Lane Paley catch a “wild ride” in the newest event, Wild Pony Racing. ~ Photo by Jennifer Hohmann

The anticipation of watching talented rodeo athletes in action brought in a full sized crowd to Alex Fraser Park for the 46th Annual Quesnel Rodeo. One of the most popular rodeos on the BC Rodeo Association schedule, the Quesnel Rodeo consists of three full performances and a Saturday morning slack.

BCRA office manager, Denise Swampy reports that in total, Quesnel Rodeo entries were up from last year; Ladies Barrel Racing entries alone saw an increase of just over 35% from 2011. While entries vary somewhat from rodeo to rodeo, Swampy says “For the most part, 2012 numbers have been about the same as 2011”.

The anticipation of watching talented rodeo athletes in action brought in a full sized crowd to Alex Fraser Park for the 46th Annual Quesnel Rodeo.  One of the most popular rodeos on the BC Rodeo Association schedule, the Quesnel Rodeo consists of three full performances and a Saturday morning slack.

BCRA office manager, Denise Swampy reports that in total, Quesnel Rodeo entries were up from last year; Ladies Barrel Racing entries alone saw an increase of just over 35% from 2011.  While entries vary somewhat from rodeo to rodeo, Swampy says “For the most part, 2012 numbers have been about the same as 2011”.

Advertising, sponsorships and spectators help to keep rodeos “in business”.     Quesnel Rodeo Club member, Mel Petersen, supplied some background on the club’s efforts to encourage spectator attendance as well as promoting the Quesnel Rodeo.

“For the past three years the club has been doing radio ads in Vanderhoof and Prince George for our July Rodeo and the BCRA Finals Rodeo held in September.  In addition to the radio ads, each morning of the week prior to the rodeo, both radio stations have been doing an on-air rodeo promotion contest called “A Rodeo Weekend Getaway in Quesnel”.  The winner and one guest receive a prize package consisting of:  two nights of accommodation at the Sandman Hotel, dinner at the Shark Club Bar & Grill, breakfast at Denny’s, VIP Rodeo Passes, Barn Dance tickets and a four hour trail ride with Martin Dillabough at the Triple J Ranch.”

“Carol Gass, the morning DJ in Prince George advised me that when they are doing this contest, they are inundated with callers.  So far, every contest winner has been very excited about winning and very impressed with the friendliness of our city and had a great time in Quesnel. “

Petersen sums it all up, “Given the number of people who were at the rodeo from both Vanderhoof and Prince George, it appears that our promotion in these communities is paying off.”

Barrel racing is my favorite event.  Over the years, barrel racing has evolved into big time money, where the payouts rival the men’s events and a rider can win or lose by one thousandth of a second.  The horses are fine tuned athletes who become as famous as their riders and successful bloodlines demand top dollar in the horse market.

The weekend of July 20, 21 and 22, barrel racers traveled from all over BC to compete in the fast paced action at the Quesnel Rodeo.  This year, the “Southern Girls” won the top honors:  Laura James (Kamloops, BC) laid claim to a first place finish in the Ladies Barrel Racing and $1,259.28 when she stopped the clock with a time of 15.685.  Bacardi Zimmerlee (Clinton, BC) put in a time of 16.139 for a first place finish in the Junior Barrel Racing, earning her a check for $373.32 and Pee Wee Barrel Racer Elly Farmer (Savona, BC) ran the fast time of 16.581 in her age group to win $224.00.

Laura James

Laura James and Stretch clock the fastest time of the weekend, 15.685 ~ Photo by Jennifer Hohmann

Ladies Barrels Top Ten: 
1. Laura James 15.685 $1259.28
2. Judy Hyde 15.742 $996.93
3. Joleen Seitz 16.024 $839.52
4. Tammy Robinson 16.046 $682.11
5. Fallon Fosbery 16.084 $419.76
6. Coleen Duggan 16.094 $314.82
7. Brooke Wills 16.116 $262.35
8. Kassi Simpson 16.167 $209.88
9. Monica Oram 16.179 $157.41
10. Cathy Bueckert 16.200 $104.94
Bacardie Zimmerlee

Bacardi Zimmerlee and Dolly finish first in the Junior Barrel Racing ~ Photo by Jennifer Hohmann

Junior Barrels Top Six:
1. Bacardi Zimmerlee 16.139 $373.32
2. Tosha Seitz 16.202 $285.48
3. Lane Wills 16.474 $197.64
4. Ricki Laviolette 16.502 $109.80
5. Rikki Hutnyk 16.550 $76.86
6. Taneesha Beaupre 16.561 $54.90
Elly Farmer

First place winner, Pee Wee Barrel Racer Elly Farmer ~ Photo by Jennifer Hohmann

Pee Wee Barrels Top Four:
1. Elly Farmer 16.581 $224.00
2. Tyler Cherry 17.418 $168.00
3. Dyson Leneve 18.013 $112.00
4. Brianna Billy 18.466 $56.00

September 20, 21 and 22 Alex Fraser Park will once again be the scene of some riveting, fast paced rodeo action. The Quesnel Rodeo Club will host the BCRA Championship Finals Rodeo where the top ten in each event will compete in three performances to determine who will wear the 2012 Championship buckles.

Mark the dates on your calendar, place your bets and don’t miss out on a single minute of the excitement! See y’all there!

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